IFM Sensors Enable Small Metal Part Feeding

IFM Electronic supplies a range of sensors for feeding small metal parts into an assembly station. The I7 series ring sensors, like an inductive proximity switch but where the part to be sensed passes through the coil, come in four sizes, with apertures of 10, 15, 20 and 25mm diameter. Also in the range is the I8 tube sensor. The applications for this are the same, but it can easily be retrofitted to an existing feed tube.

Static and dynamic versions are available, all with high resolution, and even metal parts as small as 0.6mm are reliably detected. These sensors have a response time of 0.2ms. In order to register the signal in the control system, it is necessary to use the built-in pulse stretching and adjust the sensitivity - both of which can be done by a potentiometer. A switch on the side of the unit provides selection of normally closed or normally open output function.

IFM offers ring and tube sensors with either the static or dynamic operating principle. Static sensors operate more like standard inductive proximity sensors - they generate an output signal as long as there is metal in the detection zone. These are useful for detecting falling screws in the tube, monitoring constant feed or detecting any interruption caused by parts jammed in the tube. Dynamic sensors are used to detect particularly small parts. Rather than simply looking for object presence, the dynamic sensor looks for a change of state.

This allows the device to detect tiny parts even in case of metallic contamination on the inside wall of the tube. Designed to operate on DC control systems, the I7 ring and I8 tube sensors will switch PNP or NPN, depending on the variant chosen.


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